While Simon went into the Giro d'Italia expecting to share leadership with Colombian climber Esteban Chaves, twin brother Adam started the Tour of California on Sunday a little less sure of his form having crashed at the Volta a Catalunya in late March.
"It was a pretty serious crash. I had 10 days off the bike, so it was a pretty long stint of not training," Yates said at the Tour of California's pre-race press conference. "Things are coming together, and I'm excited to be here. But we'll have to see out on the road how I am. Hopefully, the fitness is good and we can try to win some stages. Realistically, I'd like to be top 10 here.'
He is currently placed third overall at the Tour of California, having taken third place on stage 2 from Ventura to the summit finish at Gibraltar Road on Monday. Despite being unable to match the attack of Team Sky's Egan Bernal, who won the stage, and having lost out on second place to Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) by just a few seconds, Adam Yates was pleased with his progression since his crash. He is hoping to improve further in the coming days.
"It wasn't that hard today to be honest," he said in a team press release. "It was quite windy on the coast, but until the final climb the pace was pretty steady, and the guys kept me well protected until the road started to rise, and from there I was on own.
"I feel pretty good, and I'm happy with how it went. It's my first race back and I did as well as can be expected with my recovery. The guys that beat me were stronger than me today, but I'm on the right track."
As for Simon Yates, who's been leading the Giro since stage 6, one of the big tests as to whether he might still be in pink when the race finishes in Rome on May 27 will come in the individual time trial in Trento on stage 16.
Although there is plenty that could, and most likely will happen on the six stages still to come before that key time trial, Yates appears most concerned with trying to put a bigger buffer between him and time trial specialist – and defending Giro champion – Tom Dumoulin. And that's going to mean continuing to attack the Dutchman whenever he can.
"Dumoulin's still incredibly strong and very hard to gain time on," said Yates. "I'll need minutes before the time trial, and I only have 38 seconds now. For me, that's not enough, we'll need to be aggressive to gain more time."
While Adam revealed that he'd been watching his brother's performance at the Giro on TV, there's no word yet from Simon as to whether he's been staying up late to watch his brother in California.
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